Over 6 million arms in circulation – Abdulsalami reveals
General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Nigeria’s former Head of State and National Peace Committee (NPC) Chairman has expressed concern over the proliferation of weapons across the country.
Gen. Abubakar, who estimated the weapons at six million, blamed heightening insecurity on the proliferation of weapons, which he noted has led to over 80,000 deaths and close to three million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Abubakar painted the grim picture on Wednesday at a dialogue session of the committee with key stakeholders in Abuja.
According to him, the challenges facing the country were not only security in the narrow sense of the military definition but that they have assumed an all-encompassing nature.
He listed the challenges to include: the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, rising poverty; calls for balkanisation of the country from different quarters; threat of hunger arising from insecurity that farmers have faced and continue to face, increasing sense of collective despair and despondency among the populace.
He said: “The proliferation of all caliber of weapons not only in our sub-region in general and in Nigeria in particular is worrying. It is estimated that there are over 6 million of such weapons in circulation in the country. This certainly exacerbated the insecurity that led to over 80,000 deaths and close to 3 million IDPs.
From 1993 to 1998, General Sani Abacha appointed Abubakar as the Chief of Defence Staff. Upon Abacha’s death on 8 June 1998, one day later Abubakar was named military President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.a